HOW TO GET THE BEST RESULTS FROM YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
I have prepared the below advice to help you get great pictures on your wedding day. It contains several tips which should help you to get the best pictures possible to commemorate the event. It's very important to be able to collaborate with you in order to get successful result. After all photography is the single most lasting investment in your wedding which preserve the beauty of your day and of you.
Tip Number 1 – Lighting and Timing of your Ceremony
Your wedding photos can be greatly improved by keeping the photography in mind when scheduling your event and picking locations for your day. If you are having an outdoor ceremony or a daytime wedding you should be aware that the light for photography is best in late afternoon or early evening - during the middle of the day skies will get blown out and harsh sunlight on your face often causes unflattering shadows. With that in mind it’s always best to try to schedule ceremonies and portraits during a time when the sun will not be too bright, one to two hours before sunset is usually the best time. If you are having your ceremony outdoors in the middle of the afternoon in summer then you should REALLY try to make sure that you will be shaded by
a canopy, tree or other object.
Tip Number 2 – Hair & Makeup
Good hair or makeup artist should have experience working in both weddings and fashion work. Hair and makeup can make a HUGE difference to the way you look on your day. Some specific tips regarding hair and makeup: some hairstylists basically do every brides hair the same way - they insist that you need an "up" do for a wedding. This sort of hairdo really doesn't suit everybody's face and a gifted hair stylist will give you a special look for the day that matches your facial features, the makeup and your dress – and this doesn’t necessarily have to be overly elaborate or a radically different style to how you normally wear your hair. With makeup stay away from fake eyelashes if possible, since they hide the eyes and are likely to make you blink a lot. Also, avoid heavy “evening” makeup - your makeup should look natural and bring out the best in you. Overdone night-time makeup generally does not look good at a wedding and certainly will not suit the earlier parts of the day. I also advise you to try to stay away from glitter or makeup that is too shiny - these can be distracting and can take away from your natural look.
Tip Number 3 - Forget about the camera, just be yourself
People always look their best when relaxed and just being their natural selves. You don't have to spend the whole day smiling or posing for the camera - in fact the pictures will be better if you don't. Of course if you'd like to pose from time to time that's fine, but don't forget to just relax and interact with your loved ones and guests. Having said that, one thing you CAN do is try to face towards the camera during the ceremony. During the planning stages of your wedding you should pay attention to where you are standing during the ceremony and try to set things up so that you are not facing away from the photographer and your guests at this time.
Top Number 4 – Getting Ready
Some of the nicest photos are often gotten during the ‘getting ready’ phase when you are hanging out with your friends and family. If possible it helps if you can pick a visually interesting room to get ready in with good available light from windows (preferably south facing). It helps these shots a lot if the room is not too cluttered with materials and objects that will distract from the photos. If you’d like to have photos taken of the dress, shoes, ring , invite or anything else please have them ready. If time is short though I generally prefer to spend the time taking photos of you instead as these are the most interesting shots!
Tip Number 5 - Keep your head up and your eyes open
Again, there is no need to pose for the camera but during important parts of the day it does help if you cheat a little to make the photos better. Models know all the tricks to help themselves look their best on camera and the two most important things are to keep your head up so that I can see your face and to keep your eyes open. Everybody looks better in photos when their eyes can be seen, so try not to look down. You will vastly improve the way you look in your pictures by just following these two simple pointers.
Tip Number 6 – Designate someone in your party to liaise with the photographer
If you are having formal group portraits taken then this is VERY important and often overlooked. On a practical level it really helps if you can have someone help to round up relatives for the group photos and also to point out your close family members and anyone else you would like portraits of. It may not be obvious to me who grandma is otherwise!
Tip Number 7 - Portrait Pictures
Put aside 45 minutes at some point in your day so that I can get some nice semi-posed shots of you both together. You can chat, joke around and just relax a little while I take photos, giving you a little direction now and again to try to get the best shot. These shots usually look best in outdoor locations as I want you to feel free to walk around do as you please while the shots are being taken. It’s always best to get these shots before nightfall if possible as this will give us the most options visually.
Tip Number 8 - Formals/Group Pictures
Frankly, these are usually not the most creative or interesting shots from your wedding day and my advice is to try to get them done as quickly as possible so that you can get on with enjoying yourselves. You can easily waste a lot of time looking for stray relatives or members of the bridal party while trying to get the formals completed so my best advice is to keep the number of these shots to a minimum and to include only your close family and members of the bridal party. It’s best to do group shots outside during the day whenever possible. Keep in mind that each group shot will take an average of five minutes to do, so if you choose to do more than three or four formals then you can easily spend half an hour or more doing these shots instead of enjoying yourselves at the reception!
Tip Number 9 – Ceremony
Make sure you have someone to move the guests closer to the front seats, you don’t want to see a lot of empty seats in your wedding photos. I know that you will probably be feeling quite nervous but try your best to walk SLOWLY during the procession and recession, and also ask the bridal party to do the same. Make sure there’s plenty of space between members of the bridal party as they come down the aisle. Finally, if you are getting married in a Church, Synagogue etc. please ask the celebrant in advance whether there are any restrictions on photography that I should be aware of.
Tip Number 10 – Ask the venue coordinator and DJ to liaise with the Photographer
The DJ and/or venue coordinator should be told to let me know when they’re about to announce important moments such as the ‘walk in’ to the reception, the first dance, cake cutting etc. A little warning from them will allow me to get into the best position and have the right lens ready to capture these moments.
Tip Number 11 - Watch out for the video Guy!
If you are having a video made there can sometimes be problems with the videographer getting in between the photographer and the action. Sometimes video people will get quite close to the couple during the ceremony and stay there, thus ruining what would otherwise be great photos. At my studio I provide video as well as photo coverage and I know that video is a lot more forgiving - you can use camera movement, music and all the tricks of the edit studio to get a great result. However with photography it really does require the photographer to be in exactly the right place at the right time in order to capture the moment and get the shot.